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Beer Research Guide: Home

This is your guide to successful beer research!

In this guide you'll find tips for finding primary and secondary sources, as well as tips for researching people, businesses, the industry, the social and cultural components of beer, and how to find information on ingredients or recipes. It is not meant to be exhaustive! Every historical researcher will find new avenues to physical archival sources or troves of digitized documents, but it will provide you with strategies for locating relevant information. 

This guide is complimented by the guide to the Oregon Hops and Brewing Archives, which was the first brewing history archive in the country! OHBA focuses more on the collections at OSU related to brewing in the Pacific Northwest, and the guide includes information about archival collections, oral history and other video resources, digital collections, and published books and periodicals held at the OSU Library.  

The OSU Library History research subject guide will provide general information on search strategies and starting points; guidance on finding print and electronic books, journal articles, and primary sources through the library; and using newspapers in your historical research. 

Finally, use this whole guide - there is a lot of information detailed on one tab that could have fit on another. Explore! And expect tips for using Google Scholar and government resources, bibliographies of frequently cited academic press books and popular blogs, topics and time periods, and digital collections. 


Starting your research on a beer history topic can be exciting - and overwhelming! As with any other research, it is important to know relevant dates, as well as the historical context surrounding the event, person, legislation, or topic you are researching.

Remember that there is a great set of "Library How-To" guides available online.

Archivists Tiah Edmunson-Morton and Lance Burch recorded 6 short “how to” videos to help you think about your research paper question and places to start your research. They are all from your class study questions, but represent a good range of skills that could be used for any topics.

  1. History 417: How to Use Citations in Research
  2. History 417: How to Use Keywords 
  3. History 417: How to Use Archives and Learn About People
  4. History 417: How to Use a Book Index in Research 
  5. History 417: How to Think of Related Topics 
  6. History 417: How to Dissect a Question

Here are some searches to get you started. Remember to look for subject headings in catalog records, and keywords in article titles and abstracts in search results lists. 

1Search@OSU - Beer -- History 

beer history - Google Scholar

Here are some sources to get you started: 

Beer in the United States, Wikipedia 

Beer History Chronology